Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The World is Quiet Here

{Spoilers in this post. If you have any interest in reading A Series of Unfortunate Events, this is not for you}

The first time I read A Bad Beginning, the first book in the series A Series of Unfortunate Events, I hated it. I didn't understand the author's brand of humor and his constant definitions drove me crazy. I chocked it up to "not my taste" and put it away. Then I picked it up again this past year and loved it. I read every one of the 13 books. I couldn't stop talking about them. I loved the humor. I loved the characters. I loved the definitions. But most of all I loved the VFD.

The concept of a secret society that for lack of a better word fights crime appeals to me. Even better a secret society that uses knowledge to do it, whatever form that knowledge takes. The title of this post is the VFD's motto. It hung above their library, a safe place in a chaotic world. They are a society that values learning, that values creativity, that values curiosity. The idea is inspiring to me. For me the tales of the Baudelaire orphans were more about learning how much power they had through their curiosity and knowledge.

Klaus, the reader and scholar, is who I identified with, but each of the characters has their own strengths. Klaus's ability remember the things he reads, his unrelenting curiosity, his copious note-taking, are all things I admire. He's the bookworm of the three and I saw myself in his role. I'm not an inventor like Violet or a cook/biter like Sunny. But I can read and remember with the best of them. As Klaus stood in that burned library and read the words above the door, I had chills go through me. Partly they were about the burned library (horrific) but partly they were because I'd found a motto I could agree with.

The world is quiet here, is what I think every time I walk into my own personal library. Here I can learn and study and be at peace, away from the stress of the world. I want to paint it above my door. I want to tattoo it on my skin. Curiosity and knowledge are two things I value very highly. How wonderful to find the same value in a children's book series.


John said...

Love the blog title; however,Michelangelo died one month prior to his 89th birthday.

Cat B said...

Thank you John! I was incorrect. It was spoken when he was 87. I'll make the correction. Thanks. Still I'm learning.